Ocrevus is an infusion treatment for adults with certain forms of multiple sclerosis. Ocrevus can not be used in patients who test positive for hepatitis B.
Ocrevus is a prescription medication used to treat multiple sclerosis in adults. Ocrevus belongs to a group of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. These drugs work on the immune system to decrease its activity so the immune system will not attack your body.
This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein by a healthcare professional.
Common side effects of Ocrevus include lung infections, itchiness or rash during the injection, and increased risk of cancer. It's important to ensure all your required vaccinations are up to date 6 weeks prior to recieving Ocrevus.
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Uses of Ocrevus
Ocrevus is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing or primary progressive forms of multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks your nervous system and causes irregular movements.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Side Effects of Ocrevus
Serious side effects have been reported with Ocrevus. See the “Ocrevus Precautions” section.
Common side effects of Ocrevus include lung infections, itchiness or rash during the injection, and increased risk of cancer.
This is not a complete list of Ocrevus side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- medications that block the immune system such as daclizumab (Zinbryta), fingolimod (Gilenya), natalizumab (Tysabri), teriflunomide (Aubagio), or mitoxantrone (Novantrone)
- high doses of steroids such as methylprednisolone (Depomedrol, Medrol, Solumedrol), betamethasone (Celestone Soluspan), dexamethasone (DexPak, ZonaCort)
This is not a complete list of Ocrevus drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with Ocrevus including:
Infusion reactions. Ocrevus can cause infusion reactions that can be serious and require you to be hospitalized. You will be monitored during your infusion and for at least 1 hour after each infusion of Ocrevus for signs and symptoms of an infusion reaction. Tell your healthcare provider or nurse if you get any of these symptoms:
- itchy skin
- coughing or wheezing
- trouble breathing
- throat irritation or pain
- feeling faint
- redness on your face (flushing)
- swelling of the throat
- shortness of breath
- fast heart beat
These infusion reactions can happen for up to 24 hours after your infusion. It is important that you call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the signs or symptoms listed above after each infusion. If you get infusion reactions, your healthcare provider may need to stop or slow down the rate of your infusion.
- Ocrevus increases your risk of getting upper respiratory tract infections, lower respiratory tract infections, skin infections, and herpes infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have an infection or have any of the following signs of infection including fever, chills, a cough that does not go away, or signs of herpes (such as cold sores, shingles, or genital sores). These signs can happen during treatment or after you have received your last dose of Ocrevus. If you have an active infection, your healthcare provider should delay your treatment with Ocrevus until your infection is gone.
- Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML): Although no cases have been seen with Ocrevus treatment, PML may happen with Ocrevus. PML is a rare brain infection that usually leads to death or severe disability. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening neurologic signs or symptoms. These may include problems with thinking, balance, eyesight, weakness on 1 side of your body, strength, or using your arms or legs.
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation: Before starting treatment with Ocrevus, your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check for hepatitis B viral infection. If you have ever had hepatitis B virus infection, the hepatitis B virus may become active again during or after treatment with Ocrevus. Hepatitis B virus becoming active again (called reactivation) may cause serious liver problems including liver failure or death. Your healthcare provider will monitor you if you are at risk for hepatitis B virus reactivation during treatment and after you stop receiving Ocrevus.
- Weakened immune system: Ocrevus taken before or after other medicines that weaken the immune system could increase your risk of getting infections.
Do not take Ocrevus if you:
- are allergic to Ocrevus or any of its ingredients
- have an active hepatitis B infection
Ocrevus Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Ocrevus, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before taking Ocrevus, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- have or think you have an infection
- have ever taken, take, or plan to take medicines that affect your immune system, or other treatments for multiple sclerosis
- have ever had hepatitis B or are a carrier of the hepatitis B virus
- have had a recent vaccination or are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. You should receive any required vaccines at least 6 weeks before you start treatment with Ocrevus. You should not receive certain vaccines (called 'live' or 'live attenuated' vaccines) while you are being treated with Ocrevus and until your healthcare provider tells you that your immune system is no longer weakened.
- are pregnant, think that you might be pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Ocrevus will harm your unborn baby. You should use birth control (contraception) during treatment with Ocrevus and for 6 months after your last infusion of Ocrevus.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Ocrevus passes into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take Ocrevus.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Ocrevus and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
In animal studies, pregnant animals were given Ocrevus and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.
Ocrevus and Lactation
It is not known if Ocrevus crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of Ocrevus, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. You and your doctor will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Ocrevus.
- Ocrevus is given through a needle placed in your vein (intravenous infusion) in your arm.
- Before treatment with Ocrevus, your healthcare provider will give you a corticosteroid medicine and an antihistamine to help reduce infusion reactions (make them less frequent and less severe). You may also receive other medicines to help reduce infusion reactions.
- Your first full dose of Ocrevus will be given as 2 separate infusions, 2 weeks apart. Each infusion will last about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Your next doses of Ocrevus will be given as one infusion every 6 months. These infusions will last about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Ocrevus dosing is standard for all adult patients.
- Initial dose: 300 mg intravenous infusion, followed two weeks later by a second 300 mg intravenous infusion.
- Subsequent doses: single 600 mg intravenous infusion every 6 months.
Your doctor may increase the time of the infusion or permanently stop the medicine if potentially serious side effects occur.
Ocrevus is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.